Since visiting the V&A, I’ve begun researching the modern fashion industry, the commercial section in particular. The commercial side is the mass market, so the ready to wear designer products down to the high street all fall under this umbrella.
Obviously there is a massive difference in selling price when comparing the retailers. However, this is due to the business aspects such as production methods and quality of the finished item. When you think of Chanel, you hardly think that they’re in the same league as Primark.
Many high street chains use huge overseas factories (that are often featured in the news for various reasons; Rate of pay, employee treatment etc) to outsource production for cheap labour. This lowers their production costs and maximises their sales.
But the commercial industry thrives from the quick paced changeover of trends, so in theory – any commercialised store offers the same disposable fashions regardless if the T-shirt you bought cost £2 or £20. They are considered replaceable.
This throw away culture alone is a sign (or arguably and alarm bell) of how much society has changed. You wouldn’t catch the public of the 1940s throwing away their clothes to make way for the next seasons wardrobe, they would recycle and repair till something simply was no longer functional.
There are clear economic issues surrounding this topic and I feel that I want to explore them further and also discuss this within my essay. Why has society evolved into this disposable nature?
The fashion industry is one of the biggest in the world, it is important to understand how the machine works.
Designers push out two large ready-to-wear collections every year, Autumn/Winter followed by Spring/Summer with a range of target consumers. Couture designers sometimes produce one collection per year & in the cases where there are two – they are on a much smaller scale. So in theory, couture is a more economical industry as the garments are one of pieces, they’re produced in house & are generally made for a specific client. But couture garments are sold at a substantially higher cost than any commercial clothing. So are they balanced in some way?
I’m going to continue this comparative research of commercial & couture design as below the initial surface I’ve found that there are many more issues that separate the two & there are important framework opportunities that I could use to contextualise my writing. I’m going to continue to draft & plan my essay so collate these issues and ideas into an academic plan of writing.